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Art, Sex, and Democracy - a panel discussion

  • 10 Vine Street Melrose, MA, 02176 United States (map)

The artists of the pop up, Appetite, host a lively panel discussion with a group of diverse women artists on how they respond to political and social turmoil. The panel, moderated by Mary M. Tinti, curator, will explore how these Boston based artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, video, and social practice, respond to and try to make sense of the world.


Silvia Lopez Chavez believes in the power of the creative process as an agent for positive change, which has led her to many collaborative works in the creation of public art projects including murals in Boston, Cambridge and the North Shore. In 2016, she received a ‘Creative City’ grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), for ‘Lemonade Stand’, an interactive art installation throughout the city of Boston with artist Elisa Hamilton. In 2015 through a Boston Foundation grant, she was commissioned by the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4Si) to create a site-specific public art piece at Upham's Corner in Dorchester, MA; she was also awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council LCC grant for her ‘Fresh Air: Portraits of Chelsea’ project in 2013. Chavez is a graduate from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and has exhibited at local galleries including Bakalar & Paine, Mills, Grossman and Atlantic Wharf, also the Fitchburg Art Museum and the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Chavez is currently an artist in residence at Boston Children's Hospital and continues her studio art practice at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End.

Nayda Cuevas: "We are all born into this world with a history.  What I do with my history and my art practice finds ways to address my experience in it.  My history involves migration and issues of race experienced both in the United States and in Puerto Rico, my birth place.  At the age of ten my parents made the decision to move from Puerto Rico to Florida.  Immigration is an immediate issue in the United States and with it comes discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping.  As a means of negotiating alienation and the absence of familiar people and places I turned to the arts to explore my identity."

Elisa Hamilton is a multimedia artist whose practice focuses on the creation of inclusive artworks that emphasize shared experiences and the inherent joy of our everyday places, objects, and experiences. She has been the recipient of four public art grants to create temporary public works in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood, and a Creative City grant from New England Foundation for the Arts. She has held artist residencies with Vermont Studio Center, Boston Center for the Arts, the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, and the Fenway Alliance. Ms. Hamilton is the creating artist of Sound Lab, the community engagement component of Listen Hear, a contemporary exhibition opening at the Gardner Museum in March of 2017.   She continues her practice at her Tremont Street studio at Boston Center for the Arts.

Kledia Spiro creates videos, performances, installations, and paintings. Kledia was born in Albania and is part of an olympic weightlifting team. She uses weightlifting as a symbol of survival, empowerment and celebration. Weightlifting becomes a vehicle for discussing women’s role in society, immigration and times of war. Kledia has performed in New York at Grace Exhibition Space, Gray Zone, Rosekill, the Panoply Performance Lab, Songs for Presidents Gallery and in Boston at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Mobius, The Piano Craft Guild, Bathaus, Distler Performance Hall, and the New England Conservatory. Her work has been featured nationally, most notably at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the ProArts Gallery in Oakland, California.

Kathleen Volp is a mixed media artist with an extensive exhibition record including most recently Room 83 and the Bromfield Gallery. She writes, "The series "Politics of Fear" is quite literally a reflection of the anxiety I have felt with the recent election. I have been disturbed by the trend of political leaders to link policy to personal identity - specifically an overtly dominant white maleness.  The pieces fell together by chance combination of mulitple plastic horses the kind young girls collect I had in my studio, with the image of Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the widely circulated photo of a bare chested Putin astride a horse and his bromance with Trump.   The idea that macho showmanship has replaced rational thought is at the heart of these pieces."

Moderator: Mary M. Tinti, Ph.D. former curator at Fitchburg Art Museum